Shropshire Star

Shropshire families left feeling 'high and dry' by long waits for autism diagnosis

A Shropshire mother has shared her frustration about the autism diagnosis process, as new figures reveal most patients experienced a prolonged wait for a diagnosis.

New figures have revealed almost two-thirds of patients were waiting over 13 weeks for an initial appointment

Nearly two-thirds of people with suspected autism in Shropshire experienced a prolonged wait.

NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance states that no one should wait longer than three months between being referred and first being seen.

But waits in Shropshire exceeded the recommended limit for nearly two-thirds of patients.

NHS Digital figures show around 705 adults and children suspected of having autism in Shropshire were waiting at least 13 weeks for a diagnosis in June. Of those, 540 were under 18.

This meant 64.7 per cent of 1,090 patients registered with the NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care Board in the month had experienced delays beyond the 13-week recommended limit.

However, it was a decrease from last year's figure, when those who were forced to wait beyond the recommended time during the same period accounted for 72.9 per cent of all 590 patients.